A number of dignitaries from the QRL and other stakeholders are gathering in Chinchilla for the Frank Fisher Cup, as we speak.
It is an event of critical importance to the QRL and is being recognised in kind with wide-ranging support, with several members of the board, QRL Indigenous Advisory Committee chairman Edward Monaei, Queensland Police Service dignitaries, members of parliament and the likes of super coach and former Chinchilla police officer Wayne Bennett set to attend - and I'm pleased to be joining them.
The Frank Fisher Cup matches themselves on Saturday is the start of National Reconciliation Week, but will be preceded by a dinner on Friday night, coinciding with National Sorry Day, and police and NRL engagement activities in schools in surrounding communities.
The multi-day activation focuses on the issue of domestic violence awareness and prevention, while we will also pay tribute to Constables Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold and community member Alan Dare, who died in nearby Wieambilla in November when a routine police operation turned tragedy.
May is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and given the rates of domestic violence against Indigenous women are exponentially higher than in the non-Indigenous population, it's important we as a game do all we can to be a leader in having a social impact in raising awareness leading to the prevention and reduction of domestic violence across our state.
Elsewhere, Queensland Wheelchair Rugby League is one of our newest affiliates this year and will be starting their pathway to choosing a Queensland team with their City v Country match on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Make sure you get down there if you can to watch the juniors in action from 3pm and the main game at 4pm. If you can't attend, you can watch a live stream for free on Qplus.tv.
The athleticism of these men and women will blow you away and I'm looking forward to seeing who will go on to be chosen to represent Queensland.
Another of our affiliates, Queensland Representative School Sport, has run successful schoolboys and schoolgirls carnivals in recent weeks.
It was great to see them using My Sideline, particularly to guide our management of concussion across school or club footy.
QRL pathways and performance manager Brett Jones, on the back of running education sessions with his team with a number of school region squads in the lead-up to the carnivals, joined QRL coach development consultant Darren Holder in delivering further coach education sessions at these carnivals to build a better connection with those volunteers who are so influential for our children.
This was possible thanks to state government funding through the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport's School Sports Program.
The carnivals were also a fantastic learning experience for our developing referees.
A shout out to QRL Central chairman Danny McGuire, who has been one of the driving forces behind the organisation of the 2023 Frank Fisher Cup. Sadly, he won't be able to attend this weekend for health reasons, but will certainly be there in spirit and I look forward the seeing him at the next event.
An extra shout out to those who completed a Cost to Play survey the QRL recently sent to clubs, which will help us learn more about the unique challenges faced across the state and guide our strategic direction in how we allocate funding in the future.
May 26: National Sorry Day
May 27: Frank Fisher Cup (Watch live on Qplus.tv)
May 27: Queensland Wheelchair City v Country (Watch live on Qplus.tv)
May 27-June 3: National Reconciliation Week
Celebrating our team
Role: State operations manager
Favourite Maroons player: Allan 'Alfie' Langer
Favourite Maroons moment: It's a miracle! The Mark Coyne try in 1994.
What do you enjoy about working for QRL: Helping people and the community.
What Darren brings to the team: Darren, known to most at 'Schooter', has an amazing knowledge across all parts of the game that was showcased by the rolling out of the QRL Member Protection Policy that he led and drove. His dedication to our Inclusivity and Diversity initiatives is an inspiration to all associated with it. He has worked behind the scenes to help get the All Abilities Programs in the Sunshine Coast region up and running and has even designed a new logo of Qld Wheelchair Rugby League. He often goes over and above to pay attention to parts of our game that others don’t.